Turnstone's new pediatric therapy wing is complete
Apr 11, 2012 (The News-Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Walking through the brand new Madge Rothschild Pediatric Therapy Wing at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities, one gets a feeling of light and space.
The $1.4 million project added 10,000 square feet to the existing structure at 3320 N. Clinton St. There are 10 new therapy treatment areas, including a large open area for physical and occupational therapy.
Within this area is a large treehouse that sits on a real Californian tree featuring a staircase and a slide. It looks a little bit like a house from a Dr. Seuss book; the ceiling tiles above it are shaped like clouds. The stairs on the treehouse, explained Jennifer Neher, director of development and marketing at Turnstone, give kids a fun way to work on their physical and occupational therapy; the reward is coming down the slide. There will also be a climbing wall next to the treehouse, but it hasn't been installed yet.
The fun, child-friendly atmosphere helps young clients, said Nancy Lorraine, executive director of Turnstone. It makes therapy, which is often not much fun for a child, an enjoyable experience.
For the first time, Turnstone also has room for an augmentative and alternative communications lab. In the lab are numerous devices for people who don't have -- or have lost -- the ability to communicate through speech. Some devices are for people who are operating at a high cognitive level, while other devices are for those with moderate to limited functions. The idea, said SLP pediatric therapy manager Chanda Lichtsinn, is to let patients try a number of the devices to find out which works best for them. That way, when they order one of these devices, which can cost as much at $17,000, they can be sure they have chosen the best one for their needs.
Before the new wing was added, Turnstone had no room for a lab like this, Lichtsinn said. They were able to purchase the devices in the lab through a grant from CVS Charitable Trust and the Theta Theta chapter of the Psi Iota Xi sorority.
Turnstone also has a "snoezelen," which is a controlled multisensory environment designed to calm, relax, stimulate and empower the student. It was designed in Sweden and will be the first in Indiana. In the snoezelen, there will be chairs that vibrate; tall, clear plastic tubes filled with fluid and balls that slowly float to the top; padded walls and floor mats; an infinity panel; long, touchable fiber-optic lights; and a ball pit with balls that vibrate.
A large part of the money for the expansion came from the Madge Rothschild Foundation. Turnstone also received donations from the McMillan Foundation, English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, Mimi and Ian Rolland Foundation, Carson and Rosemary Noecker Family Foundation, Petroleum Traders Corp., Paul Yergens and Virginia Yergens Rogers Foundation, Lutheran Health Network-Lutheran Children's Hospital, NIPSCO, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, Theta Theta chapter of the Psi Iota Xi sorority and other individuals.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the therapy wing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The public is invited to tour the new wing 2-6 p.m. April 25 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 28.
Turnstone has provided therapy, wellness education and recreational programs for children and adults with disabilities in northeast Indiana for 68 years. It was originally founded to help kids with developmental disabilities. Fifteen percent of the children it is currently treating come from outside Allen County.
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